to Megalopolis. CHELMOS. 39. Route. 379
cross the stream of Longaniko, which is often terribly flooded, and
reach the base of the conspicuous conical hill of Chelmos. Here
lies the Khan of Chelmos (l3fe hr. from the spring at Voutoukos)
belonging to the village of Longaniko, which lies to the W. among
the mountains, 3 M. above the point where we cross the stream.
On the steep summit of the Laconian Chelmos (2556 ft.), which
may be ascended in 1 hr. from the khan, lie the ruins of a mediaeval
castle, and the remains of a strong Hellenic polygonal wall, strength¬
ened with numerous towers. The strong position recalls those of
Ithome and Aero-Corinth. We may assume that this was the site
of the ancient Belemina or Belmina, the border-fortress command¬
ing the road from Laconia to Megalopolis, and the centre of many
contests. Some authorities, however, place Belmina near Petrina
(see below), farther to the W., and regard the fortress on the
Chelmos as the acropolis (Athenaeon?) of the entire district, which
was known as Belminatis. — Numerous springs rise on the moun¬
tain-slope, uniting to form the Eurotas. Kephalovrysis, the chief
source, wells up on the N.W. slope.
The district around the sources of the Eurotas and Alpheios formed
the ancient territory of dSgytis, so called after a long-vanished city, the
site of which cannot be distinguished. Lying between the hostile cities
of Sparta and Megalopolis, it was often the object of fierce contests in the
later period of Greek history. The rugged mountainous region to the E.
wais the chief part of the district of Skiritis, which was at first Arcadian
and afterwards Laconian.
From the Khan of Chelmos we may either proceed direct to
Megalopolis or reach the railway via, Leondari. The Bridle-Path
to Megalopolis (4 hrs.), following the telegraph-wires, ascends
to the village of Skortzeno, and proceeds thence through the valley.
At Zaimi, to the left, the Theious (the modern Koundoufarina), one
of the head-springs of the Alpheios, rises at the foot of the Tzim-
berou Mountains (p. 380). Thence the path leads via Rotitzi (rail¬
way-station, p. 381) and Koukouta Aga to Megalopolis (p. 381). —
The Route to Leondaki (41/4 hrs.) passes the highest head-streams
of the Eurotas, leaving the pastoral village of Petrina on a high
ridge to the right (a suggested site of Belmina, comp. above), and
ascends through numerous small ravines to (3 hrs.) the hamiet of
Voura, which lies on a fertile plateau. The path then descends
gradually to the upper valley of the Alpheios, and in life hr. more
reaches Leonddri (p. 381), under the shadow of a ruined mediaeval
castle. Thence we may reach the railway-station in 25 min. more
or ride on to (2^4 hrs.) Megalopolis (p. 381).